A LETTER TO ALL PRIESTS

The following is a translation of an open letter written by the Dominican Nuns of Bogata, Colombia to all priests. We wanted to share it with you.

Bogotá, D.C. 7th October 2009 Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary

Dear priests, much loved in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary,

During this Year for Priests please receive our fraternal greetings together with our prayers for your sanctification and for your intentions, and also for your different responsibilities and apostolate on the continents, countries and islands of the world where you are spreading the Kingdom of God.We send you our most sincere greetings for this ineffable Gift of the Priestly Order with which Our Lord Himself enriched you for the good of humanity and in a special way for us Christians. We do not have enough words with which to praise such a sublime Vocation to the Priesthood. It is a sacred duty for all of us who have been called, to take care of our vocation! The Apostle tells us, and you always repeat his words when you listen to us and guide us, that a vocation is a treasure we carry in earthen vessels.

Dear Priests, we give infinite thanks to God because of you, for your life dedicated to serve people as shepherds through your listening, counselling, encouraging, direction and,what is most important, by forgiving sins and celebrating and distributing the Body and Blood of the Lord every day.We love you as the dearest thing there is in the Church. This is why we suffer when for any reason you fail, and for the humiliations that come about because of your fragility as human beings.We pray to the Lord that our Priests will be clothed with holiness as breastplate, and that they are not wounded by sin and worldly trends. We pray that there shall always be manyand holy priests.

In one of his sermons, our brother Saint Louis Bertrand exhorts Priests to have angels as their model. With him we tell you: «The priest should be an angel. What does an angel do?Among other things, he is always in the presence of God ready to serve Him. The priest hasto live in such a way as to be always prepared and unhindered to do what God tells him to...He should be an angel. What does an angel do? He has to feed those who are hungry» and he goes on to explain the passage from the Prophet Elijah. And then he said: «Priest, in you God has given us an angel who, when he sees a weakened sinner helps him, gives him water to drink, and comforts him with the Word of God. Brother do not be discouraged, God is with you. It is only through effort that you gain heaven. This is the water. Give him bread baked on embers. Give him that Bread of Heaven. Give him the Most Holy Sacrament baked on embers and the fire of love».

With due respect, we ask you to always keep you dignity in mind. It is so sublime to be able to celebrate the Eucharist as if it was the first, the only, and the last one. To change bread and wine into the most holy Body and Blood of Christ is so sublime: the angels do not have such a privilege. You are Christ! May you be able to celebrate it faithfully.Please do celebrate it. It is your first and your main ministry. Do celebrate the Sacraments, otherwise you will deprive us of the Graces God wants to offer to many through YOU. Let nothing separate you from the love of Christ ... as the Apostle said. In short, do what the Master with His heartfelt Love ordered you on the night of Holy Thursday: «DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME».

Do not abandon prayer, alone with Jesus in the tabernacle, during the day and at night, in joy and in suffering, in failure and in facing difficulties even when sometimes it seems so arduous to live. Do not forget Jesus in the Eucharist during temptations, when facing difficulties, in times of crisis, or dryness... The Most Holy Virgin Mother of the High and Eternal Priest will be the first to come to your help, you know this more than anyone else. She will surely help you, without expecting anything in return. She is our Mother and she knows in detail what each one of her children needs. Dialogue with her is a dialogue of love,tenderness, rest, and trust. It is a Dialogue through which we confide to Her all our fatigue and worries. After conversing with her we will be totally strengthened and endowed with new energies to follow the Master whatever the cost.What can a priest who only studies, works and preaches, but does not pray, bring to thefaithful? You are the salt of the earth and the light of the world... For this reason, the intimate relationship with the Lord is fundamental throughout our life. It is more important still for those who were called to be another Christ on Earth.

When, like the Apostle, you take on the role of disciples and missionaries take the Word and the Sacraments to every part of the world as he did throughout his life, work, journeys,fatigue, his letters, giving a living witness without sparing anything for the Kingdom.You are the ANNOINTED of the Lord and He loves you as the apples of His eyes. We love you too in God and for God. We accompany you with our prayers, which are simple but entrusted to God Our Father through the intercession of Mary and Her Son Jesus Christ to whom belongs all Glory, Honour and Power.

Community of Nuns of the Order of Preachers,
Monasterio de Santa Inés
Bogotá, Colombia

Source: IDI, December, 2009